Luiz Ruffato talks about his “propositional literature” in an interview
In the year of publication of his most recent book, “O Verão Tardio” (Late Summer) (Companhia das Letras), Brazilian writer Luiz Ruffato gave an exclusive interview to the Brazilian Authors Series, an initiative of Brazilian Publishers – an industry project fostering the exports of Brazilian editorial content by means of a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).
Graduated in communication studies, the author from Minas Gerais started his writer career in 2001, with the book entitled “De mim já nem se lembra” (Unremembering me ) (2015, Companhia das Letras), which crossed the borders of Brazil and captivated Portuguese, Italian, Mexican and American readers, among others.
Luiz classifies his works as “propositional literature”: “Unlike those books for entertainment only, this type of writing helps people to think about themselves and their relationships with others”.
Besides the more intimate look, a constant presence in the sixth released book of Ruffato, another feature of his works is the social context where characters are in. Like in “O Verão Tardio”, they are from low and middle classes. “I write about an environment that we don’t usually see in the Brazilian literature and art in general”, he says.
According to Luiz, the success of his books abroad cannot be ascribed only to the fact that the stories take place in Brazilian cities, such as, for example, the small town of Cataguases, in the countryside of Minas Gerais, the author’s hometown and the setting of some of his novels.
He explains that the literary universe is based mainly on human issues. “I believe that the reader is not interested in the place where the story develops, but in the human reactions of characters in certain situations”, he says.
Most Ruffato’s books were published by Companhia das Letras, including “Eles eram muitos cavalos” (There were many horses) (2001); “Inferno Provisório” (Temporary hell) (2016) — winner of APCA, Jabuti and Casa de las Américas awards; “Estive Em Lisboa e Lembrei de Você” (I was in Lisbon and thought of you) (2009); “Flores Artificiais” (Artificial flowers) (2014); “A cidade ainda dorme” (The city is still asleep) (2018); and now “Verão Tardio”, among others. Also, he is the author of “As máscaras singulares” (Peculiar masks) (Boitempo, 2002), “Minha primeira vez” (My first time) (Arquipélago Editorial, 2014) and “A História Verdadeira do Sapo Luiz” (The true story of Frog Luiz) (DSOP, 2014).
Ruffato’s books inspired many short films, two feature films and five theatrical plays. In 2016, the writer won a Hermann Hesse Award, in German, an international recognition of his set of works.
About Brazilian Authors Series
In order to stimulate knowledge about Brazilian contemporary literature, Brazilian Publishers, an industry project that promotes exports of Brazilian editorial content through a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), created the series “Brazilian Authors”, which brings information about current national writers.
About Brazilian Publishers
Created in 2008, Brazilian Publishers is a sector project that encourages the export of content produced by Brazil’s publishing houses. It is the result of a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). This initiative aims to promote the Brazilian publishing industry in the global market in an articulate and targeted manner, contributing to the professionalization of the nation’s publishing houses.